Hello hello friends! Sorry for the slight blogging hiatus this week...things have been busybusy lately...but guess what?! I come bearing good news. Taylor and I both got into grad school this week! He got accepted to the MFA (creative writing) program at the New School and I got into the Social Work program at Columbia! So the possibility of moving to NYC in the fall is becoming more and more real...it's very exciting! Anyway, I just wanted to share that news with you all cause...well, isn't that the point of this bloggy thing?
Onto the real reason for this post: Today I am going to talk more about lighting in general. I talked about shooting in low light a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be helpful to share some of the other lighting related resources I've come across. So here you go!
- One of the first things you should know is that there are a few different kinds of light, and they create very different effects. Direct light creates warmer tones and more contrast, diffused light (such as light softened by clouds) creates lower contrast and cooler colors, and reflected light mostly depends on what the light is being reflected from (I'll talk a little more about reflected light later).
- It's also good to know that light changes though out the day. You've probably heard before that sunrise and sunset are the best times to take photos because you get that pretty, warm light that's not too contrasty. Contrast will be higher the closer you get to noon when the sun is directly above your subject.
- This post on finding the right light says "you're not shooting the subject, you're shooting the way the light falls on the subject." I think this is a really great way of thinking about it! It is important to actually think about where your light is coming from and how you can use it to your advantage. It's easy to just get caught up in how much light there is, and forget about considering where that light is coming from. This post talks about "photography around the clock" the different ways light can fall on your subject, and the differences it makes.
- If you're lucky enough to have windows that let in some good natural light, you've got your own free softbox. This post talks all about window light and how to get the most out of it.You should use the tips from above about where your light is coming from when positioning your subject next to a window. And remember, if you can, it's best to have one kind of light in your photo so turn off any lights (otherwise white balancing will be a real bee-yotch).
- Have you heard of "catchlights?" I learned that when taking portraits it's good to get reflections of your light source in your subject's eyes (or catchlights) to brighten them up.
- I think I mentioned before how if you're shooting outside, it's best to place your subject in shade and not directly in the sun. Even better if you can place your subject in the shade across from a wall that can reflect some (less harsh) light back onto them. This post talks about a few other techniques...I've never really thought a whole lot about how changing the position your subject is facing in the shadow, or moving them around within the shadow could effect your photo.
- What do you do when there is no escape from harsh sunlight? One option is to put the sun behind your subject...it will blow out the background of the photo, but you'll get nice light and the focus will be on your subject...Though it does take some practice to get good backlit photos. You can find some tips for backlit photos here.